9 Harmful effects of soft drinks on human body: The hidden truth.

harmful effects of soft drinks on human body

Harmful effects of soft drinks on human body: It’s time to be concerned.

Soft drinks are very enjoyable drinks around the world. A drink that contains carbonated water, sweetener, and a natural or artificial flavor. Soft drink is a common name, but it has regional names for both carbonated and noncarbonated beverages. Mostly they are well-known as cold drinks, energy drinks, fizzy drinks, fizzy juice, pop, soda, soda pop, tonics etc.

In 1884, a drugstore owner in Lisbon Falls in the United States made the first soft drink.  (Tahmassebi et al., 2006). Soon afterward Coca-cola and Pepsi-cola and similar products appeared industrially. As manufacturing technology and marketing strategy improve, a local pharmacy product changes into a $60 billion industry product every year.

But it is now very clear about the harmful effects of soft drinks on human body. Soft drinks contain high amounts of sugar and acid. They can cause dental caries, erosion, overweight, obesity, high risk of having type 2 diabetes.

Potential risks from the harmful effects of soft drinks on human body| Check your risks now.

There are so many harmful effects of soft drinks on human body that are related to the daily high consumption of soft drinks. Usually, soft drinks contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) taken from cane sugar for sweetening the product. Soft drinks are mostly referred to as sugary soda but they also include highly sweetened fruit juices, tea, coffee, and other sugary drinks.

The most common ingredients that are used in soda or soft drinks include-

  • High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Carbon-di-oxide
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Citric acid
  • Caffeine
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial flavors.

A 12-ounce sweetened soft drink will give you 150 Calories. If not fortified, they don’t give any essential nutrition for a healthy life. Diet cola or diet drinks do not give any calories but can give you other ingredients as well. Regular and excessive drinking of soft drinks is associated with side effects that you won’t actually like.

Let’s have a look at what harmful effects of soft drinks on human body may exert.

1. Soft drinks give empty calories

Soft drinks do not supply any nutrients. They provide only sugar from high fructose corn syrup. Studies show numerous times the harmful effects of soft drinks on human body. They do not give satiety because fructose cannot lower the ghrelin hormone like glucose. Besides this, soft drinks don’t contain any fiber at all. Fiber improves satiety. For this reason, such drinks give extra calories over top of all consumed calories from solid foods.

Other than calories from sugar, soda water do not give any nutrient. Children who drink soda water usually do not drink milk or plain water. As soft drinks can not be compared with milk for nutritional value, children get fewer nutrients if they take fizzy drinks.

People who regularly consume sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) gain weight much more than those who don’t drink them regularly.  One study showed that daily one serving of soft drinks increases 60% of obesity in children.

2. Another harmful effect of soft drinks on human body as they increase the risk of metabolic syndrome.

Sugar contains two chemical products, sucrose, and fructose. Every cell of our body can metabolize glucose, but fructose is metabolized by the only liver. Excessive fructose intake turns into fat in the liver. It results in the accumulation of fat around the liver and results in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Fructose overload also can cause inflammation of liver cells. It may result in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Possible harmful effects of soft drinks on human body include liver diseases also.

Large fructose intake accumulates fat around the belly. Studies have shown fructose intake is the culprit to fat storage around the belly. In this situation, blood lipid levels increase significantly, whereas glucose intake does not show a similar effect on the blood. A waistline over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women is a key indicator of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to metabolic syndrome.

Studies showed that each 100 kcal intake from soft drinks increases the waist circumference by 1.1 cm. Substituting 100 kcal soft drink with 100 kcal milk decreases the waist circumference by 1.3 cm. The choice is yours.     

High sugar intake from food and beverages leads to weight gain. This is the key factor for increasing the risk of metabolic diseases. A group of problems is called metabolic syndrome. They include obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and cardiovascular diseases. Sugary drinks are the easiest way to take in extra calories that can lead to weight gain. It finally results in metabolic syndrome. So the harmful effects of soft drinks on the human body are far more serious than those sweet charming beverages.

3. High sugar increases the risk of achieving cancer

Several studies have shown that high sugar spikes blood glucose levels which increase the risk of several types of cancer. These include breast cancer, colon, kidney, esophageal, endometrial, and prostate cancer. The harmful effects of soft drinks on human body exert through cancer also.

Cancer comes hand-in-hand with diseases from metabolic syndrome like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. 

A study was conducted with over 60,000 people. It showed that 2 or more sugary drinks per week increase 87% of having pancreatic cancer among those who did not drink soda.

Women who drink lots of sugary drinks after menopause is at very high risk of endometrial cancer. The inner lining of the uterus is the endometrium. Here cancer starts.

Recurrence of cancer and death from colorectal cancer is highly associated with sugar-sweetened beverages. The harmful effects of soft drinks on human body are actually beyond our imagination.

It is estimated that almost 30% to 40% risk of all types of cancers can be reduced only by lifestyle and healthy dietary changes.

 4. ADHD of children and dementia in adults: Harmful for cognitive function

Caffeinated soft drinks contain caffeine which is a stimulant product. Its consumption between 100 mg – 400 mg leads to nervousness, jitteriness, and fidgetiness. The developing brain in children undergoes continuous pruning and myelination process. Caffeine consumption hampers these processes. The use of sodium benzoate in soft drinks leads to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nowadays children are getting 30% of sugar regularly from soft drinks.

Both caffeine and sodium benzoate are coming from sugar-sweetened beverages. A high intake of soft drinks links with a high incidence of ADHD and low memory performance.  Children who drink carbonated beverages suffer from the harmful effects of soft drinks on human body very highly.

A 12-country study was conducted on children aged between 9-11 years. It showed children with higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with less sleep (< 9 hours/day).  Less sleep is detrimental to children’s motor skills, immune function, attention, daytime functioning, and academic performance. The harmful effects of soft drinks on human body especially on children should be a concern.

 5. Tooth decay

Sugary drinks are loaded with sugar. Carbonated beverages are full of phosphoric and carbonic acid. Both of these compounds directly contribute to the tooth decay process.

Acid melts the enamel of the tooth. Along with acid, sugar creates a favorable environment for bad bacteria in the mouth. Both factors increase the chance of dental caries. The harmful effects of soft drinks on human body are very high, also on dental health.

 6. Bone decay(osteoporosis)

The tangy taste of soft drinks comes from phosphoric acid. A single can of soft drink contains about 7 to 10 spoonsful of sugar. This high sugar cannot be tolerated usually. To diminish this highly sugary taste phosphoric acid is used.

Other harmful effects of soft drinks on human body include a high intake of phosphorus. High phosphorus in the blood activates the parathyroid hormone which pulls calcium out from the bone. Hence people who drink so many soft drinks, tend to lose their bone density. It ultimately leads to osteoporosis.

A high meat diet (which also contains high phosphorus) with` soft drinks intake makes the situation worst.

These people tend to break or experience fractures in bone easily. The harmful effects of soft drinks on human body may result in very painful experiences.

 7. Dementia

When our brain declines to not work properly, dementia happens. A group of declining brain functions is called dementia. The most common is Alzheimer’s disease. Research showed that high blood sugar is strongly associated with an increased risk of dementia. High doses of sugary drinks can impair memories and decision-making capacity.

 8. Risk of Gout

Gout is an inflammation and painful disease of joints, especially of big toes. High blood uric acid levels crystallize in the joints and make pain. Fructose is an important agent for blood uric acid. It undergoes phosphorylation reactions which increase the uric acid levels. But glucose from other sources of food does not give the same reactions.

Sugary drinks give a high amount of fructose. It exerts both a weight-gaining effect as well as increasing uric acid levels.

A 22-year-long study among 80,000 women found that those who drink a can of sugary drink a day had a 75% higher risk of having gout. It is very low compared with those who rarely drink any soft drink at all. The result is similar among men as well. The harmful effects of soft drinks on human body are very painful when it increases uric acid level.

 9. Mortality

The most harmful effects of soft drinks on human body are increased mortality rates at an early age. The more people drink sugary beverages, the greater the early mortality risk is. The highest mortality rate is from cardiovascular disease and the lowest is from cancer.

There is a strong association between sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases. High blood triglyceride, very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and cholesterol level increase with a high intake of sugar.

A 20-year-long study was done by over 40,000 people. It reveals that those who drink at least 1 sugary drink per day had a 20% high chance of getting heart disease or dying from it.

High intake of sugary beverages increases the risk of recurrence of cancer and death from it. Sugary beverage intake can be modified and can be reduced for all-types of mortality from cancer.

Bottom line

It is well established that high sugar intake is associated with various types of diseases. The harmful effects of soft drinks on human body are very concerning. It affects a variety of classes of population all over the world. But it is a modifiable problem.

If you want to avoid health hazards, live a happy healthy life, and want to lose weight and live longer, consider to reduce soft drinks intake. Change your high sugar intake from soft drinks to water, normal tea, coffee, iced tea or coffee, homemade fruit juices, etc.  

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